Flashback: FDR’s Words Ring True Today

Monday, January 19, 2009

As Barack Obama takes the oath of office during a time of economic crisis, it is worth looking back at what Franklin D. Roosevelt told the American people on the day he took over the presidency 76 years ago at a time of even greater economic peril.

“The rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence…. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.…Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Saturday, March 4, 1933
First Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Yale Law School, Avalon Project)


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